And yet another video. I should be putting this stuff on my Tumblr blog-thing I guess.

Scribblenauts is a pretty fun and crazy looking DS game coming out this September. I suspect two copies will quickly make it to this household, as both myself and Angela are really looking forward to it. It just looks so quirky, and we’re huge into quirky here at the Dragonchasers Castle Hovel.

Video from Joystiq.

Uber Meta Nintendo DSi Post

So while we in NA slept, Nintendo had its press conference and announced the new Nintendo DSi.

I’m sure at this point in the day, this is No Longer News to anyone reading this blog. But in case you just woke up or something, I am now blogging that Wired’s Chris Kohler live-blogged the live-blogging of the press conference. You can read his live-blog of the live-blogging here. It feels very satisfying for me to blog about this.

For a more bullet-pointy rundown, check out DS Fanboy.

Nintendo DSi

One VGA camera in the hinge facing you for video chat (?), one facing the world. The latter takes 640×480 shots. SD slot on the right.

Also comes in matte-black.

This product is potentially interesting to me, but I don’t see myself running out to buy one on launch day. Bigger screen is nice, thinner is nice. Lack of GBA slot not so nice: I do still have some GBA games on my “To play” list (though I can’t fault Nintendo for finally leaving that format behind).

I can’t find a reason to care about the cameras, or the web browser (I don’t use the browser on my PSP…I can’t imagine I’ll use on on a DS with a still-smaller screen), and I have an iPod for listening to music. Stick a 30 gig drive in the new DSi and we can talk.

The big wild card is the downloadable programs. So far WiiWare has been pretty lackluster in terms of software. DSWare is going to have to be much more compelling to get me to upgrade my DS to take advantage of it.

When my current DS breaks, I can see spending a bit more to replace it with a DSi, but unless DSWare has some real killer apps, I don’t think I’ll be tossing aside a perfectly good DS to upgrade.

My Etrian Odyssey Continues

I’ve decided that Etrian Odyssey II (for the Nintendo DS) is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s looks like it’ll be a long, long game and I’m not going to try to power through it.

I have to confess I was getting a bit bored for a while, feeling like I was doing the same thing over and over again, but then I happened to backtrack down a side passage of the dungeon and found a quest item I needed. Completing this quest opened up three more.

One of the three required a class I didn’t have in my Guild, so I created a new character and had to get him to level 3. I also needed to send out my “Collecting Party” to generate some cash, so I sent the noob out with the collectors to get some combat experience. We farmed a node until we were out of “farming points” for the day, then headed down (ok actually its up… you start on the ground and work up in this adventure, but I still think of it as down) to level 2 of the dungeon, but without my Troubadour I had no way to Sleep the Bosses that roam around down there, so we didn’t get very far before we had to run for the stairs.

It has been said before, but one of the neat things about the game is that the story is so ‘lite’ that we end up making up our own story. With up to 30 characters in a guild, you’re either going to give them descriptive and dull names (Fighter1, Fighter2, Gather1, Gather2, etc) or you’re going to come up with good names, but then have to attach some imaginative trait to them to help you remember what their role is. And suddenly these characters start to tell stories to you.

Eh, maybe its just the writer in me, but that’s what is happening in my game. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go pull the wings off some VenomFlies in level 2…

Etrian Odyssey II, creeping forward

A quick update on my progress through Etrian Odyssey II for the Nintendo DS.

As advertised, the game can be a challenge. I’ve had more than a few total party wipes, which means Game Over. Actually one aspect where I think they missed out on some fun is forcing a reload after your party dies. Since a Guild can house 30 members, wouldn’t it be cool if you had the option to form up another ‘rescue’ party to set out from town? Oh well, maybe in EO III.

But the game is compelling. Thanks to the fans at GameFaqs I’ve learned at least one reason to have extra characters: there are resource nodes in the dungeons, but it takes a particular Skill to gather resources from them. Rather than devoting skill points to these Skills with your “main” adventurers, the suggestion is to create a set of “gatherer” adventures, and send them in to collect resources (which can then be sold for coin). You can gather once per node per gather skill point, so ideally you’d have a party of 5 gatherers with maxed out gather skills. But such a party probably would never make it to the resource to be gathered. So there’s a nice balancing act in building a party with a good number of gatherers and sufficient ‘fighters’ to keep them alive.

Good fun still. Looking forward to the weekend and the chance to put some serious hours into the game.

First Look: Etrian Odyssey II

I’ve been in an old-school gaming kind of mood recently, so when Angela gave me a shiny new DS Lite for my birthday, I went game hunting, and came up with Etrian Odyssey II. It’s got lots of old school RPG goodness in it, at least on paper. I’ve only done the first starter mission.

The first thing you do is create a “guild” for yourself. Guilds can have up to 30 (!) characters in them, and a party consists of 5 of those characters. Characters can be one of 12 classes (to start, it appears you can unlock more later) and you create them all. No pre-made characters or emo NPCs to join your group. When you pick characters for a party you arrange them into front and back rank. This feeling familiar yet?
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